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Is Peru a racist country?

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Is Peru a racist country?

I'm Somali, a fair black race, and looking to visit peru in a year's time. I just happened to get on a topic about racism in peru & it got me searching about it more.

Is Peru, Lima & Punta sal a racist area & I'll be treated differently? Reading about it, it all points to yes. Someone in peru I keep in contact with agreed, but then said it's nothing to worry about, people are friendly & that only the rich people are racist...

"Nothing to worry about." This has come up a lot in my research. Peruvians don't seem to take it seriously & brush it off as a joke. Racism isn't a joke and I'm having second thoughts about wanting to even go.

Gypsum, Colorado
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21. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

Carol and WorldLover got it right...mostly. It would appear that it is an internal problem, and that once they find out you are a tourist, you would inmediately acquire a higher status. Yeah, everybody is going to treat you well, be friendly, have a beer and try to get a tip from the black tourist. Tourists might even think peruvians are not racists at all. If you dig deeper, though, peruvians are, as a society, extremely racist, specially towards blacks and "cholos", and anybody who is not white would have a more difficult time living in Peru, finding a good job, and moving up in a job, dealing with authorities, etc. I'm sure it's not as bad outside of Lima and other Coastal cities, and also not as bad among other economic classes outside the upper middle class and rich people, but is generally true everywhere.

Edited: 28 August 2013, 22:20
New York City, New...
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22. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

will that is big somali to peru

New York City, New...
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23. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

will that is big somali to peru

Mi Wuk Village...
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24. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

Starting back in the colonial era Peru was very stratefied based largely on race. Top of the ladder were Spaniards born in Spain. Next came Criollos born to Spaniards in Peru. In fact this was the basis of all the revolts against Spain. They didn't care about the rest. Below that was a mixture. At the bottom were the Indians. Above them was a group of mixed races. Example..the cross between an Indian and a Spaniard or Criollo. Commonly called mestizo but further divided. For example the cross between a mestizo and either a Spaniard or an Indian. It soon got complex. Blacks had an interesting position. Most people who had slaves owned Indians. If you were wealthy you might flaunt your wealth by importing an expensive slave from Africa. Black slaves tended to be house hold slaves rather than working in the mines or fields so their life was much better than Indians. Independence saw a minor change. Up until the 1960s it was possible to buy land in rural areas where the deed also included the buildings, the livestock and the Indians who lived on the land. There used to be a system of internal passports. Indians who wanted to go to another part of Peru had to get permission. In the mid 70s a whack job general named Velasco became President. Besides nationalizing many industries and hence ruining the economy he also abolished internal passports. A result was the massive movement of Indians from the mountains to Lima. It grew from a modest city to a sprawling slum. There are few blacks today and they tend to live in certain areas. Still maintaining a unique Afro Peruvian culture. There are penas dedicated to this culture. There is a small asian..mainly Japanese and Chinese population. Lima even has a Chinatown. Chifas are everywhere. A Japanese Peruvian was elected President. Asians suddenly became very popular because it was mistakenly believed Japan would give Peru lots of aid. This was at a time when the Senderos were devastating the country. Fuji was convinced to listen to trained outside advisors...officially from Grand Cayman (great scuba diving). Proper measures were taken and the Senderos were largely destroyed. In the process folks forgot the basic saying..Indians don't cost much. Because it was necessary to relocate several thousand Indians to unmarked graves there was a back lash against Fujimora. A shame really since he did so much good.

As a tourist you won't even be a curiosity. You will be called Negro. Not a racial slur. People are often given nick names based on appearance. Example...someone fat is called Gordo. Just one name you never want to call someone in latin America..Indio. Especially if they obviously aren't. There is a whole world of conotations wrapped up there. It not only describes race but is an implied slur against the sexual habits of the person's ancestors.

Oh... in Brazil..which was settled by the Portuguese it was even more complex. There were at one time almost two hundred distinct racial categories.

Edited: 06 September 2013, 05:36
jersey
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25. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

Racism is defined as one race feeling superior to another. Peru is a country of it's own with many things for Peruvians to be proud of. They are in general friendly and the more effort you can make to be relaxed and positive, the more likely you are to feel the same in return. Of course some Peruvians may have things against foreigners, but this is probably cos they are aware of the USA trying to rule the world. Unfortunately any white person is classed as a 'gringo'. Nevertheless, a quick smile, some confidence and charisma, and then they see you as an individual, not another 'Gringo'.

Peru is proudly individual, and rightly so. I would say it isn't a racist country in a solid sense, rather a proud traditional country where your welcome depends on your efforts, although they are friendly enough in the 1st place.

So it's like anywhere else in the world. You have free time, money, and travel plans. Feel lucky about that, and quit dwelling on the more trivial aspects of Personalities that won't bother you unless you let them.

Edited: 06 September 2013, 09:22
jersey
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26. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

In terms of racism in terms of one race disliking another, i think it's really a case of making an effort to be flexible and fit in. There are many different travellers to Peru. Peru has it's own black population. If any forein race isn't welcomed it's perhaps cos they don't smile and mingle with the rest, they then feel insecure, and alone. So my advice would be to make an effort to be confident and you'll find Peru very welcoming. But if you travel looking miserable, don't expect anyone to feel like talking to you etc. I think this isn't about colour, more about making an effort in your host country, white or black.

In this sense it isn't even a 'colour thing', but a 'is this person pleasant, or a 'miserable victim card player'.

Edited: 06 September 2013, 09:30
florida
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27. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

The absolutely most racist people I have encountered in Florida have one thing in common. They are Peruvians. I would love to know how your trip goes.

Cusco, Peru
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28. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

Yes, Peru is racist country, but only between each other, and related to social and class status. Nothing to worry about for any foreigner of any color or race. Interestingly, my Peruvian wife was discriminated against both in the UK and the USA, and she has light coloured skin. I (a white British man) was also discriminated against in the US.

The obvious racism in Peru (between Peruvians) is something which needs to be overcome for the country to advance socially, but unfortunately as more Peruvians become wealthy, this gap seems to be getting bigger.

Lima, Peru
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29. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

i think i have seen the most ugly people in the world in peru

and thier inability to treat stranegers correctly without asking de donde eres!!

everyone laughs at black man when you walk the streets and thinks they are far more better than black men but little do they know they aren't whites and even whits aren't better than blacks cause their women always come wasting big money on us to marry us and get a child with our blood

i really hate peru though i am married to a peruvian and lives there

but they are far behind civilization than us africans

30. Re: Is Peru a racist country?

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